How Students Can Benefit from Foreign Exchange Programs

Whether you earned your counseling degree online or in a traditional classroom setting, you are now working with kids who are on their way to being young adults. Many excel in their academics while others are having a bit of difficulty finding their path in life. Some students you are charged with guiding simply need a bit of direction while others need time to get away and reflect on what it is that is important to them so that they know where to go when furthering their education after high school graduation.

It’s exciting being a school counselor but even more so when you get to recommend students for foreign exchange programs. You are then instrumental in giving them something that will offer new life experiences while helping them to prepare for the ‘adult’ years ahead. Why are foreign exchange programs so important? Just take a look at these benefits and you’ll see why!

A Whole Wide World that Isn’t the Internet!

One of the things that masters in counseling programs will teach you is that today’s youth are presented with a whole new set of issues previous generations weren’t exposed to. Today they have the Internet where they can communicate with other young people around the world. However, that could be a detriment as well as a benefit! It’s much better to actually experience life in another country and join in local customs if you want to truly learn a new culture. By recommending high school or college age students for a foreign exchange program you are broadening their horizons.

Giving Students a Sense of Independence

In days gone by, students were eager to go on foreign exchange programs to other countries where they could meet new people and see new things they might never get to experience otherwise. With the Internet, today’s youth already have a wider global perspective. What some students need is a sense of self confidence, a sense of independence from parents and peers which they can easily get on a foreign exchange program. If you feel, as a school counselor that a student would benefit from a newfound sense of independence and a foreign exchange program, you are in a perfect position to help them get accepted to the country of their choice.

When Students Simply Need a Break

Have you ever had that one student with an exceptional level of potential who is continually underperforming? Sometimes there are family problems that keep them from doing their very best and time away could give them a chance to find out who they are apart from the family they were born into. These students aren’t problem children in the literal sense. They simply have no motivation to excel because of the household they live in. Getting them away for a semester can help them discover that they are not bound by the family dynamics they deal with daily and they have within their own power the tools they need to make a life for themselves. Foreign exchange programs can suit their needs nicely in terms of getting away from a life that is keeping them down.

So you see, school counselors can help identify budding young adults who could benefit most from seeing foreign lands and immersing themselves in other cultures. It’s a wonderful sense of accomplishment when you see your young mentees spread their wings and fly. From placements in the UK throughout all of Europe and even in Australia and lands beyond, students can truly benefit by studying abroad and you, as their counselor, can make that dream a reality.

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